Do you believe the Cardinal have a realistic chance of winning the Pac-12 North? What would be the formula to victory over teams like Oregon State and Oregon?
Scott Allen, Rule of Tree: At this point, I don't really see anyone beating Oregon, but the fan in me believes there's a chance if everything goes perfectly. It would probably take a couple of defensive touchdowns, a special teams touchdown and quarterback play of much higher quality than we've seen for most of this season, but sure, it could happen. The passing offense will have to be clicking if Stanford is to beat Oregon State and the secondary will have to play as well as it did against USC (with an assistant from a strong pass rush) if the Cardinal is going to have a chance against either Oregon school.
Hank Waddles, Go Mighty Card: I've been running my site for over two years now, and during that time I've predicted victory for the Cardinal in every single game. My eternal optimism is a big part of that, but equally important is that Stanford has been pretty good over the past two and a half seasons. They've gone into each game in this span with realistic aspirations for the win, but I think that changes against Oregon. Unless something dramatic changes in the next two weeks against Colorado and Washington State, I'll be predicting an Oregon win in Eugene on November 17th. Oregon is one of the best teams in the country, and right now the Stanford offense can't begin to compete with them.
I don't worry as much about Oregon State, especially with their recent struggles at quarterback. I think Stanford can beat the Beavers, especially since the game will be played at home.
What would you like to see this weekend against Colorado that would make you feel more optimistic about Stanford going forward?
Scott Allen, Rule of Tree: I'd like to see Hogan throw for 300 yards and four touchdowns while completing 75% of his passes and Stepfan Taylor rush for 200 yards on 15 carries. Short of that, I'd just like to see the offense get into a rhythm and mount a few of the methodical drives Stanford fans have grown accustomed to seeing over the last few years. This three and out stuff is getting old.
Hank Waddles, Go Mighty Card: The big news out of Palo Alto this week is that Coach Shaw will be expanding quarterback Kevin Hogan's role in the offense, and I think that's probably what every Stanford fan is excited about. The offense has been historically stagnant under Josh Nunes, but has the potential to be dynamic under Hogan. If Hogan takes at least 15 snaps as Shaw has promised, and if the offense looks good during those sequences, I think the outlook for this team changes dramatically. Also, it would be nice to have a relaxing win for a change. We thought we'd get that last week, but, you know.